Aconbury, Herefordshire

Extract from Littlebury's Directory and Gazetteer of Herefordshire, 1876-7
with Private and Commercial Residents

Transcribed by Marion B. Wilkinson, © Copyright 2001

ACONBURY is a parish and scattered village pleasantly situated on the turnpike road leading from Hereford to Ross, via Hoarwithy, and possesses scenery of romantic description, which is blended with woodland. It is distant 5 miles S.S.E. of Hereford, 9 N.W. of Ross, and about 2½ S.W. of Holme Lacy station on the Hereford, Ross, and Gloucester railway. It is in Wormelow hundred (upper division), Hereford union, county court district, and petty sessional division, and Much Birch polling district. The population in 1861 was 183; in 1871, 144; inhabited houses, 35; families or separate occupiers, 35; area of parish, 1,633 acres; annual rateable value, £1,404. The whole of the land, except three small tenements, is the property of the Governors of Guy's Hospital, who are also lords of the manor.

The soil is a rich loam, and subsoil limestone rock, and is chiefly adapted to arable purposes. This parish is remarkable for fine timber and coppice wood, 600 acres of it being under timber. Here was formerly a nunnery of the order of St. Augustine, founded and endowed in the time of King John, by Margery, wife of Walter de Lacey. It occupied 5 acres of ground and was surrounded by a moat. The Cliffords, one of whom appears to have been buried here, were considerable benefactors to this house; its revenues at the time of the dissolution were estimated at £75 7s. 5¼d. yearly. The Governors of Guy's Hospital purchased this estate, with Wilton castle and other extensive possessions they have in the county from the Chandos family, who formerly lived at Aconbury. On the summit of Aconbury Hill, a bold and extensive eminence, partly covered with young wood, and commanding a delightful view of the surrounding country, are traces of a camp of a square form, the rampart of which on the east side is very conspicuous. This was probably a summer camp of the Romans.

Aconbury is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford, and rural deanery of Archenfield; living, a vicarage; value, £53 (derived from a charge on land belonging to Guy's Hospital of £40, and augmentation by Royal bounty of £13); patron and vicar, Rev. Stephen Thackwell, M.A., of Pembroke College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1855, and is also rector of Little Birch. The parish church is a small Gothic structure, consisting of nave, chancel, ancient porch, with a low tower containing one bell. It was restored in 1863, at a cost of about £700, chiefly defrayed by subscription. The children from Aconbury attend the school at Little Birch. The surnames of Preece and Verry are most common amongst the labourers in this parish, who are chiefly employed in the coppice woods.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Letters are received from Ross, through Much Birch. Hereford is the nearest money order and telegraph office.
Parish Church.- Rev. Stephen Thackwell, M.A., Vicar; Mr. Thomas Lewis, Churchwarden; Thomas Francis, Parish Clerk.
(None listed)
Addis Thomas, farmer, Caldicott
Dance Thomas, farmer, King's Pit farm; res., The Leys, Grafton
Davies Thos., carpenter & cottage farmr.
Francis Thomas, parish clerk
Imms Thomas, farmer, Merrivale
Jones William, farmer and timber dealer, The Warren
Lewis Thomas, timber agent and wood-ward for the governors of Guy's hospital, Mount Skippitt
Mansell Thos., farmr., Cross-in-hand farm
Mullins Richard Norton, farmer and hop grower, Aconbury court
Norris Edwin, carpenter and wheelwright, Pies nest
Preece James, cottage farmer
Pritchard Wm., carpenter, Aconbury hill
Rooke John, butcher
Watkins James, farmer, Caldicott

Transcription by Marion Wilkinson in June 2001.

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